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Medical quota row

New Delhi, June 19: The Centre has challenged in the Supreme Court Maharashtra’s decision to withdraw the 15 per cent reservation of seats in the MBBS and dental science (BDS) courses.

A vacation bench of Justices R.C. Lahoti and Brijesh Kumar directed that the Centre’s application be heard on Monday.

The Maharashtra government discontinued the 15 per cent reservation that enabled students from other states to apply for admission earlier this year. With the Centre challenging this arbitrary decision, the apex court has to decide if a state can do away with the “all-India quota” for its professional colleges through legislation.

The Centre said the Maharashtra government had “merely” informed the Union health ministry on April 30 that it had passed a law doing away with its “all-India quota”. It said this decision contravened a 1986 Supreme Court judgment that 15 per cent of seats in every state should be reserved under a countrywide quota.

The Centre added: “Such a contention on the part of the state of Maharashtra may amount to disregarding and ignoring the law laid down by the Supreme Court.”

A state legislature could pass such a law only with the apex court’s permission, the Centre’s application said.

The application said Maharashtra had scrapped the quota at a time when college admissions were about to take place.

The common entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses was held on April 27, with results due in June-end.

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